Pizza Making Forum

Reviews & Opinions => Pizzeria & Restaurant Reviews => Topic started by: hammettjr on December 08, 2018, 09:56:43 AM

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on December 08, 2018, 09:56:43 AM
I've been saying for the last couple years one of the best things I can do to help to my pizza making is trying out different pizzerias.

Last night I finally went to Joe's, then made my second visit to NY Pizza Suprema.

***
Experiencing Joe's gave me insight into where Hotsawce and Scott are coming from. As I said on another thread, I believe there are many different sub-styles within NY-style, and that no one style is better, best, or the 'true' style. And Joe's was simply different than what I'm used to.

What was different was the crust. (My slice came from a pie that came out of the oven - no re-heat.) The crust had a crisp, yet was light. Maybe soft, but not in an oil-induced kind of way. I really liked the crust, both texture and flavor. And I actually ate the entire rim, which is especially surprising given I was heading to another pizzeria after.

The undercrust also had a char flavor for much of it. It was reminiscent of what I recently described from Amore. I'm not sure whether I like this or not. And I'm not surprised that someone here recently described their slice as 'burnt'.

I'm not a dough/baking expert, but if you told me this was not low hydration and was baked hot and fast, I'd believe it. I'm not going to guess bake time or temp. I'm not saying it's 4 minutes, but it sure didn't seem like 8 minutes at 500. The oodles of picutures I've seen of these slices really don't convey the crust. Mine don't really either. Though the undercrust shot is telling. I also really like the last picture I've posted. You can see the thinness and some of the texture.

Crust aside, flavorwise it was exactly what I'd expect from reading about it on the forum. It was a good foodservice tomato and mozz. But that's it. Simple and subtle is one way to describe it. But I think these slices are basically a blank canvas for the customer to make their own. You can see in the background of one of my photos that they don't provide shakers of add-ons....they provide the large plastic containers of the seasonings. They are all over the shop and there's constant motion of customers shaking pepper, oregano, garlic etc onto their slices. I didn't partake in this, I never do.

Overall, very nice crust, ratios were ok, flavor wasn't abundant though people wont generally complain and add their own seasoning.

***
NY Pizza Suprema is on the opposite end of the flavor spectrum. Not only do you get smacked in the face with Romano, but the sauce...I have no idea what they are doing with their sauce. All I can say is that with every bite I literally said "mmmm". What's amazing is that I'm really not a fan of Romano. The slice doesn't look like much (although does look better in real life than in my cell phone pics), but there's no way we'll ever see this flavor. The ratio was different compared to Joe's too. More sauce on this pie...the way I like it.

I may need to experiment with Romano again, but I would try just a bit of it to be in the background, and keep the parm in the forefront.

I tried the upside-down square as well. I forgot how much I used to like Sicilian. Sauce here is really in the forefront. I was surprised that the flavor on this was actually much more subtle compared to the regular slice. It tasted like good tomato, then some oregano and fresh basil tossed on top. You can see the romano on top too, but I couldn't taste it. They say this is a cooked sauce with onion, and I did find a piece of onion in it, but again, I thought this sauce was much simpler compared to the slice. Perhaps the slice just has way more romano on it?

Next time I'll grab a slice and a regular Sicilian.

***
Side note on Bleecker St pizza - my intent was to go to Bleecker St pizza and Joe's. I went to Bleecker first, and they didn't have any plain slices. Just a few topped pies that had been sitting around. They were very apologetic and explained that Friday night they get slammed by delivery orders, and pointed to the stack of boxes waiting to be filled. The oven was jammed and the one pizza maker was doing all he could. They said they should have a plain pie ready in 20 minutes, so I went Joe's then went back to Bleecker. But it was the same situation. The guy at the counter wanted to guess 15-20 minutes more wait, but the pizza maker said at least 30. I could tell it wasn't happening any time soon, so I decided it wasn't the night for it. I do want to get back there though, given their focus on sauce and parm.

***
Joe's pics below, NY Pizza Suprema in the next post.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on December 08, 2018, 09:57:12 AM
Pics from NY Pizza Suprema

Edit: last pic I just found online  - recent pic of a fresh baked pie...wow
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Jon in Albany on December 08, 2018, 11:19:41 AM
Nice write up. I was at a party last night and Suprema came up in conversations. I've never been but the person I was talking to loved it.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Dangerous Salumi on December 09, 2018, 02:22:23 PM
Yes, nice write up.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: quietdesperation on December 10, 2018, 11:44:49 AM
Matt, great wrireup on Joeís and suprema. My take on them is similar: If we have a guest and they want to understand nyc slices, thereís no better place to start than Joeís. But imo, it lacks the personality of a bleecker st or suprema.

The latest bake looks great! I find Galbani oils off at that temp/bake time. I guess you didnít have that problem?
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hotsawce on December 10, 2018, 11:46:35 AM
Bleecker street is awful and Suprema was incredibly disappointing on my last couple of visits. That being said, the romano is very noticeable on suprema's slice - and I kind of like it. But they could go just a little less heavy handed. Sauce is too sweet for my liking.

Matt, great wrireup on Joeís and suprema. My take on them is similar: If we have a guest and they want to understand nyc slices, thereís no better place to start than Joeís. But imo, it lacks the personality of a bleecker st or suprema.

The latest bake looks great! I find Galbani oils off at that temp/bake time. I guess you didnít have that problem?
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on December 10, 2018, 12:05:31 PM
Bleecker street is awful...


That's your opinion and not fact, correct? Just checking  ;)

What do you find that's so objectionable?

Regarding Suprema, I didn't notice sweetness and certainly wasn't bothered by any sugar present. For my tastes they are a bit heavy on the Romano - I wouldnt want it that heavy on a weekly basis, but I find it enjoyable on occasion.

Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on December 10, 2018, 12:17:18 PM
...
The latest bake looks great! I find Galbani oils off at that temp/bake time. I guess you didnít have that problem?

It's hard to say because this was an unusual bake. It was ultra thin crust, fairly light on cheese, but heavy on sauce.

The result was a consistent orange circle, and it was hard to distinguish what was sauce vs oil. It definitely wasn't overly greasy, and no orange oil dripped. Probably because half my cheese was low fat grande.

Overall it worked in a pinch. My flavor is from the sauce and hard cheese(s) anyway, so the taste wasn't significantly compromised.

Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Josh123 on December 10, 2018, 12:53:29 PM
Suprema > Joe's easily.

Joe's is bland. Its made well and aesthetically pleasing, but the flavor just isnt there.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Minolta Rokkor on December 10, 2018, 01:51:19 PM
That's your opinion and not fact, correct? Just checking  ;)

What do you find that's so objectionable?

Regarding Suprema, I didn't notice sweetness and certainly wasn't bothered by any sugar present. For my tastes they are a bit heavy on the Romano - I wouldnt want it that heavy on a weekly basis, but I find it enjoyable on occasion.
I'm a Romano heavy kind of kind, heavy Romano becomes tangy and the flavor stacks. Heavy Parmesan imo just muddles.

Honestly never found Pecorino Romano enjoyable.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on December 10, 2018, 01:53:48 PM
That's your opinion and not fact, correct? Just checking  ;)

What do you find that's so objectionable?

Regarding Suprema, I didn't notice sweetness and certainly wasn't bothered by any sugar present. For my tastes they are a bit heavy on the Romano - I wouldnt want it that heavy on a weekly basis, but I find it enjoyable on occasion.


Joe's > Suprema > Bleecker

My opinion, not fact.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: quietdesperation on December 10, 2018, 05:38:12 PM
Sauce is too sweet for my liking.

last time I went to suprema, I posted the sauce was too sweet. Oddly, the time before, I thought the sauce was great. so maybe there's some variation. matt, forgot to ask, I recall harry recommended the upside-down slice at suprema, seems like you liked it? I've never tried it.

IMO, ranking pizza joints is a little silly. On a given day, I may be in the mood for what Joes has to offer, another day sal and carmines. It's tough to rank well-made pizza. by way of analogy, who is the best artist?
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on December 10, 2018, 07:46:36 PM
...matt, forgot to ask, I recall harry recommended the upside-down slice at suprema, seems like you liked it? I've never tried it.


I actually recall Hotsawce recommending it. I did like it, though thought it wasnt as flavorful as the regular slice. I want to try the regular sicilian next time.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on December 10, 2018, 08:01:15 PM
...IMO, ranking pizza joints is a little silly. On a given day, I may be in the mood for what Joes has to offer, another day sal and carmines. It's tough to rank well-made pizza. by way of analogy, who is the best artist?

I agree that labeling a pizzeria the best (or as I said a few posts ago, labeling a style the best) doesn't make much sense.

People of course can have their preferences and favorites.

What's most helpful IMO for the group on this forum is to elaborate on each pizza and what you like or dislike. When I reviewed Joe's I tried to outline what I tasted and saw, without alot of opinion.

What I find very interesting about Joe's is that we all agree that it's a simple sauce, but some find that classic, while others find it bland. There's no right or wrong here, just preferences. I personally don't generally eat pizzas with toppings, partially because I think pepperoni or other toppings messes with the subtle beauty of a great slice. But I'm not going to say its bad or wrong to order a pepperoni slice. A step further than me, someone could easily say that the pizza I make has too much oregano, sugar, and hard cheese. And that this takes away from the flavor of the tomato and mozz. But this is what I like (most of the time to QD's point).

This is why seeing a comment that simply says Pizzeria X stinks isnt helpful. It may stink for precisely the reason someone else thinks it's great.

Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on December 10, 2018, 08:16:34 PM
Joe's is mild, but it's balanced and the flavors are good.  I don't need to be beat over the head with flavor.  I like raw vegetables and unseasoned steamed chicken breast.  Slow down and focus on what you're eating.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on December 10, 2018, 09:01:13 PM
Joe's is mild, but it's balanced and the flavors are good.  I don't need to be beat over the head with flavor.  I like raw vegetables and unseasoned steamed chicken breast.  Slow down and focus on what you're eating.

I agree with most of this. I've learned over the last 8 years that plain brocolli has a ton of flavor that I enjoy.

And eating slowly and mindfully greatly enhances my eating experience.

But I can mindfully enjoy a well made sauce, just like I can a plain tomato  :)

Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Josh123 on December 10, 2018, 10:13:32 PM
Joe's is mild, but it's balanced and the flavors are good.  I don't need to be beat over the head with flavor.  I like raw vegetables and unseasoned steamed chicken breast.  Slow down and focus on what you're eating.

Most people arent eating street pizza for subtlety, though. When I want raw and earthy flavors, I get Neapolitan margherita
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on December 10, 2018, 11:56:27 PM
Most people arent eating street pizza for subtlety, though. When I want raw and earthy flavors, I get Neapolitan margherita

Trust me, nobody eating one of my pies will be reaching for a shaker jar.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hotsawce on December 10, 2018, 11:56:58 PM
Tell that to all of the NYers here that consider Joe's the best. Maybe in Pittsburgh or the rust belt they prefer those heavy flavors (herbed sauce, lots of cheese, etc) but that's just not a NY thing and it never has been. My entire family was off the boat, settled in NY, and was eating pizza there before Joe's was even around. Historically, NY has always leaned toward "simpler" when it comes to pizza. The East Coast, in general, does (and that starts from people leaving NY and opening shops in Jersey)

Also, to compare the sauce/cheese on a neapolitan vs the sauce/cheese on a NY style is total apples and oranges. You're talking about fresh mozzarella and roughly crushed tomatoes on a 50 second baked unmalted dough vs a longer bake more akin to a bread like crust with NY style.

Anyway, it's my opinion Joe's has been significantly better (to my taste buds) than Suprema recently. I'm sure in no small part just because suprema has been so busy they can barely keep up. Oven was so cold pies were tearing on my last visit. So many guys back there making pies.

Most people arent eating street pizza for subtlety, though. When I want raw and earthy flavors, I get Neapolitan margherita
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on December 11, 2018, 06:59:17 AM
Trust me, nobody eating one of my pies will be reaching for a shaker jar.

And yet there was constant shaking of seasoning at Joe's when I was there. You prefer to put basil, pepper and hard cheese(s) in your pies, correct?
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on December 11, 2018, 07:08:19 AM
Tell that to all of the NYers here that consider Joe's the best.
...

This doesn't make sense.

Who are all these NYers? People tend to have a favorite in their neighborhood, particularly if they grew up there. Tell all the NYers that consider Amore the best that they are eating crap pizza that isn't real NY style...

Joe's is an as-seen-on-tv destination. So is Di Fara. Given the poplularity there will be many people that call one or the other of these the best. But one is "simpler" as you say and one is loaded with flavors. How do we reconcile the 2?

My point, which everyone seems to want to ignore, is that there is no best or true style. There are differences. Some prefer one over the other. Some like both and on any given day choose what they're in the mood for.

Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: HansB on December 11, 2018, 07:23:29 AM

My point, which everyone seems to want to ignore, is that there is no best or true style. There are differences.

^^^
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Josh123 on December 11, 2018, 09:38:20 AM
Tell that to all of the NYers here that consider Joe's the best. Maybe in Pittsburgh or the rust belt they prefer those heavy flavors (herbed sauce, lots of cheese, etc) but that's just not a NY thing and it never has been. My entire family was off the boat, settled in NY, and was eating pizza there before Joe's was even around. Historically, NY has always leaned toward "simpler" when it comes to pizza. The East Coast, in general, does (and that starts from people leaving NY and opening shops in Jersey)

Also, to compare the sauce/cheese on a neapolitan vs the sauce/cheese on a NY style is total apples and oranges. You're talking about fresh mozzarella and roughly crushed tomatoes on a 50 second baked unmalted dough vs a longer bake more akin to a bread like crust with NY style.

Anyway, it's my opinion Joe's has been significantly better (to my taste buds) than Suprema recently. I'm sure in no small part just because suprema has been so busy they can barely keep up. Oven was so cold pies were tearing on my last visit. So many guys back there making pies.

Thats why every slice shop has hordes of people dumping Romano, oregano, granulated garlic, hot pepper seeds on their street slices? Or why all these newer and bougie places, including Robertas and Nino's places doing like fennel pollen and figs on their Pizza? Lol, c'mon dude.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Josh123 on December 11, 2018, 09:42:50 AM
This doesn't make sense.

Who are all these NYers? People tend to have a favorite in their neighborhood, particularly if they grew up there. Tell all the NYers that consider Amore the best that they are eating crap pizza that isn't real NY style...

Joe's is an as-seen-on-tv destination. So is Di Fara. Given the poplularity there will be many people that call one or the other of these the best. But one is "simpler" as you say and one is loaded with flavors. How do we reconcile the 2?

My point, which everyone seems to want to ignore, is that there is no best or true style. There are differences. Some prefer one over the other. Some like both and on any given day choose what they're in the mood for.

Exactly. Post makes zero sense.  :-D
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Dangerous Salumi on December 11, 2018, 11:15:24 AM
This doesn't make sense.

Who are all these NYers? People tend to have a favorite in their neighborhood, particularly if they grew up there. Tell all the NYers that consider Amore the best that they are eating crap pizza that isn't real NY style...

Joe's is an as-seen-on-tv destination. So is Di Fara. Given the poplularity there will be many people that call one or the other of these the best. But one is "simpler" as you say and one is loaded with flavors. How do we reconcile the 2?

My point, which everyone seems to want to ignore, is that there is no best or true style. There are differences. Some prefer one over the other. Some like both and on any given day choose what they're in the mood for.

Honestly, this is a legit street slice and my favorite https://www.2brospizza.com
Those others are likely hyp'd however I will try all three (four?) in the same day soon.

At this time my favorite of any pie besides my own is Frank Pepe's in New Haven.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on December 11, 2018, 12:16:57 PM
...I will try all three (four?) in the same day soon.


I highly recommend doing that. Even if you don't end up loving all the pizzerias, it's a great learning experience.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Jon in Albany on December 11, 2018, 12:57:40 PM
I highly recommend doing that. Even if you don't end up loving all the pizzerias, it's a great learning experience.
I totally agree. There a guy in my area with a food blog and he puts together seasonal tours like going to 5 places for wings or cider doughnuts. There were a few soft serve ice cream ones too. Anyhow, when you go back to back, you can really notice differences.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Dangerous Salumi on December 11, 2018, 09:57:41 PM
Donít forget Bronx pizza...

https://www.thrillist.com/eat/new-york/bronx/best-pizza-in-the-bronx-nyc
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on December 11, 2018, 10:04:00 PM
Donít forget Bronx pizza...

https://www.thrillist.com/eat/new-york/bronx/best-pizza-in-the-bronx-nyc

Just a few pages up this thread:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=51924.msg552767#msg552767

Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hotsawce on December 12, 2018, 01:02:55 PM
How does it not make sense?

Hate to break it to you, but there's a reason Joe's is consistently named by numerous NY publications as the prototypical NY slice. NY Times, Eater, Grubstreet, Food and Wine, Timeout, Scott's Pizza Tours, and everyone who owns or runs a pizza shop here (Mark Iacono, Frank Pinello, Paulie, Adam Kuban the list goes on.) Anyone who is actually here will tell you Joe's is the template for a NY slice, and other slices tend to follow that. Luigi's in South Brooklyn, countless other slice shops. It's dough, milled tomato with little to no seasoning, and aged mozzarella in the proper proportions baked on a stone.

I'm not saying you have to like it, but don't go changing what has historically been NY pizza for decades. You can have your personal preferences but this is what NY pizza has been. And by the way, there's a reason Amore or Lucia don't make those "best of lists." Again, you don't have to agree but you guys are in the minority compared to the people that actually live here or come from the area. But don't attribute it to "as seen on tv" you don't survive for 40 years from being on TV once. That pizzeria in "The Last Dragon" was heavily featured and doesn't get half the business Joe's does  :-D

I don't understand the quip about the condiments. The add-your-own condiment thing is, again, something that's tried and true NY. You claim it's because the pizza is flavorless, yet this has been around forever. You can see it in old pictures of NY pizzerias. Some people like oregano, some don't. Some like a little more sharp cheese, others don't. Same with chili flake. I don't see how that is a mark on the quality of the slice rather than a personal preference thing.

Again, you're going to have your own preferences for flavor but don't try and change the definition of what NY pizza has been for decades. The idea of cooked sauces, heavily doctored sauces, tons of cheese...just not accurate and never was a "thing." You can see it in the trend from Lombardi's to Totonno's through to John's and the move from the coal oven spots to deck ovens.

This doesn't make sense.

Who are all these NYers? People tend to have a favorite in their neighborhood, particularly if they grew up there. Tell all the NYers that consider Amore the best that they are eating crap pizza that isn't real NY style...

Joe's is an as-seen-on-tv destination. So is Di Fara. Given the poplularity there will be many people that call one or the other of these the best. But one is "simpler" as you say and one is loaded with flavors. How do we reconcile the 2?

My point, which everyone seems to want to ignore, is that there is no best or true style. There are differences. Some prefer one over the other. Some like both and on any given day choose what they're in the mood for.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Josh123 on December 12, 2018, 04:31:45 PM
Amore, Margherita, New Park, etc have all been open longer than Joe's. Busier than Joe's and more expensive. They dont make big time publications cause its not in lower manhattan or west Brooklyn. The people are the real test of what's good and timeless.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Dangerous Salumi on December 12, 2018, 05:43:26 PM
How does it not make sense?

Hate to break it to you, but there's a reason Joe's is consistently named by numerous NY publications as the prototypical NY slice. NY Times, Eater, Grubstreet, Food and Wine, Timeout, Scott's Pizza Tours, and everyone who owns or runs a pizza shop here (Mark Iacono, Frank Pinello, Paulie, Adam Kuban the list goes on.) Anyone who is actually here will tell you Joe's is the template for a NY slice, and other slices tend to follow that. Luigi's in South Brooklyn, countless other slice shops. It's dough, milled tomato with little to no seasoning, and aged mozzarella in the proper proportions baked on a stone.

I'm not saying you have to like it, but don't go changing what has historically been NY pizza for decades. You can have your personal preferences but this is what NY pizza has been. And by the way, there's a reason Amore or Lucia don't make those "best of lists." Again, you don't have to agree but you guys are in the minority compared to the people that actually live here or come from the area. But don't attribute it to "as seen on tv" you don't survive for 40 years from being on TV once. That pizzeria in "The Last Dragon" was heavily featured and doesn't get half the business Joe's does  :-D

I don't understand the quip about the condiments. The add-your-own condiment thing is, again, something that's tried and true NY. You claim it's because the pizza is flavorless, yet this has been around forever. You can see it in old pictures of NY pizzerias. Some people like oregano, some don't. Some like a little more sharp cheese, others don't. Same with chili flake. I don't see how that is a mark on the quality of the slice rather than a personal preference thing.

Again, you're going to have your own preferences for flavor but don't try and change the definition of what NY pizza has been for decades. The idea of cooked sauces, heavily doctored sauces, tons of cheese...just not accurate and never was a "thing." You can see it in the trend from Lombardi's to Totonno's through to John's and the move from the coal oven spots to deck ovens.

Look at these reviews... 2Bros ftw

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d2200990-Reviews-2_Bros_Pizza-New_York_City_New_York.html (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d2200990-Reviews-2_Bros_Pizza-New_York_City_New_York.html)
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Dangerous Salumi on December 12, 2018, 05:46:42 PM
2Bros. ftw!

https://www.yelp.com/biz/2-bros-pizza-new-york
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Dangerous Salumi on December 12, 2018, 05:58:33 PM
This guy thinks Joe's is the best and 2Bros should not be called "pizza" ...douchebaggery if you ask me.


https://thepizzasnob.net/2012/07/19/one-last-slice-of-new-york-joes-pizza/ (https://thepizzasnob.net/2012/07/19/one-last-slice-of-new-york-joes-pizza/)
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hotsawce on December 13, 2018, 12:12:20 AM
I agree with the guy  :-X

I gotta say, 2Bros has a pretty questionable reputation here... it's very thick, bready, baked on a screen. See here https://slice.seriouseats.com/2009/04/cheap-dollar-slice-pizza-showdown-99-cent-fresh-pizza-vs-st-marks-2-bros-pizza-hells-kitchen-manhattan-nyc-review.html

I'm decidedly in Adam Kuban's corner here... but different strokes for different folks. you like what you like.

This guy thinks Joe's is the best and 2Bros should not be called "pizza" ...douchebaggery if you ask me.


https://thepizzasnob.net/2012/07/19/one-last-slice-of-new-york-joes-pizza/ (https://thepizzasnob.net/2012/07/19/one-last-slice-of-new-york-joes-pizza/)
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Dangerous Salumi on December 13, 2018, 06:22:22 AM
I agree with the guy  :-X

I gotta say, 2Bros has a pretty questionable reputation here... it's very thick, bready, baked on a screen. See here https://slice.seriouseats.com/2009/04/cheap-dollar-slice-pizza-showdown-99-cent-fresh-pizza-vs-st-marks-2-bros-pizza-hells-kitchen-manhattan-nyc-review.html

I'm decidedly in Adam Kuban's corner here... but different strokes for different folks. you like what you like.

If I wasnít so busy today I would take the train into the city today just to have a couple slices at Joeís. Maybe tomorrow.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on December 13, 2018, 09:53:39 PM
How does it not make sense?
...

Your argument was that lots of NYers saying Joe's is the best demonstrates that herbs and heavy flavors "is not a NY thing and never has been". That logic fails for a number of reasons. One of which I already pointed out - lots of NYers say Di Fara is the best...so evidently it is a thing.

I'm not saying you have to like it, but don't go changing what has historically been NY pizza for decades. You can have your personal preferences but this is what NY pizza has been. And by the way, there's a reason Amore or Lucia don't make those "best of lists." Again, you don't have to agree but you guys are in the minority compared to the people that actually live here or come from the area....

I never once made any statement during this discussion about what defines NY pizza. On the contrary, I've said repeatedly that I'm trying not to do so. All I said was that Joe's had simple flavors and I appreciated the crust, and Suprema had an in your face romano and sauce.

Moreover, I refer to the heavily topped pizzas in Queens as "Queens style" acknowledging that these are not the typical classic slice. I'm not sure why you're even bringing them up in this discussion about Joe's and Suprema.

And I really dont care what magazines or celebrities say, but thats besides the point. And I do live "here". My parents and in-laws have been eating pizza here since the 50s. But again, none of this is really relevant.

I dont think I've said anything controversial during this discussion. But Josh saying he thought Joe's is bland seems to have led you to defend it.


Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on December 14, 2018, 01:04:07 AM
But Josh saying he thought Joe's is bland seems to have led you to defend it.


Joe's is bland, but the flavors are great and well balanced.  That's tough to pull off.  I'd like to get there.  My parents were born in Queens in the '20s.  My early pizza memories are from visiting my grandparents.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hotsawce on December 14, 2018, 02:21:35 AM
DiFara is something unique that hasnít always been topped the way you have come to know it. Itís definitely changed over the years.

That being said, his pie is basically a dressed up NY pie. Uncooked plum tomatoes and aged low moisture mozzarella with a lard of hard cheese and basil post bake.

Iím simply saying the flavors you find in Joeís pizza are what have come to define Ny pizzerias. Joes is the one that executed it best, but countless others do it the same way. You have the addition of a Romano sprinkle here and there, or a shake of oregano pre bake, but thereís never the cooked sauce or heavily doctored sauces in the style. Itís always been dough, tomatoes, aged mozz not messed with too much. I actually think I posted a vid from Suprema where the owner actually says this in his definition of NY pizza.

By the way, history matters. Culture matters. Italian American food is its own cuisine. Carbone has made it the backbone of his restaurant empire. But believe whatever you want

Your argument was that lots of NYers saying Joe's is the best demonstrates that herbs and heavy flavors "is not a NY thing and never has been". That logic fails for a number of reasons. One of which I already pointed out - lots of NYers say Di Fara is the best...so evidently it is a thing.

I never once made any statement during this discussion about what defines NY pizza. On the contrary, I've said repeatedly that I'm trying not to do so. All I said was that Joe's had simple flavors and I appreciated the crust, and Suprema had an in your face romano and sauce.

Moreover, I refer to the heavily topped pizzas in Queens as "Queens style" acknowledging that these are not the typical classic slice. I'm not sure why you're even bringing them up in this discussion about Joe's and Suprema.

And I really dont care what magazines or celebrities say, but thats besides the point. And I do live "here". My parents and in-laws have been eating pizza here since the 50s. But again, none of this is really relevant.

I dont think I've said anything controversial during this discussion. But Josh saying he thought Joe's is bland seems to have led you to defend it.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hotsawce on December 14, 2018, 02:23:10 AM
What you call bland, I call balance. I donít mean that in a bad way. But I think thatís what you want in a NY slice - something that is greater than the sum of its parts in harmony. It should taste of gold bread, good tomatoes, and salted milk.


Joe's is bland, but the the flavors are great and well balanced.  That's tough to pull off.  I'd like to get there.  My parents were born in Queens in the '20s.  My early pizza memories are from visiting my grandparents.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on December 14, 2018, 07:44:48 AM
DiFara is something unique that hasnít always been topped the way you have come to know it. Itís definitely changed over the years.
...

Yes. That's one of the issues with the logic that what a NYer calls the best today indicates what existed as the standard through time. And there was a member here that claimed that Joe's changed through time by simplifying their sauce. That's entirely possible.

By the way, history matters. Culture matters. Italian American food is its own cuisine. Carbone has made it the backbone of his restaurant empire. But believe whatever you want


It should taste of good bread, good tomatoes, and salted milk.



History and culture absolutely matters. But you seem to want to define the culture based on one current pizzeria. I'm not disputing the claim that Joe's is currently looked at as a prototypical slice. All I'm saying is that there is variation within the culture and the pizza style (with various sub-styles). You seemed to acknowledge that, sort of, some of the time. But I dont agree with your comment of what NY pizza "should" taste like. If someone is trying to clone Joe's, then yes. Or perhaps if they say they want to clone a standard street slice. But when the guys at Suprema and Louie & Ernie's have been using romano forever, I'm not going to say their pizza should be different, or that they weren't part of the culture.

What I'm trying to do with my own baking is take the components of different pizzerias that fits my preferences. There's nothing wrong with that. I've never said that my way is better, more pure, more traditional or anything like that. I don't use the words should, better or standard. For example I've never once said that my screen is better than baking on a deck. All I've said was my local pizzerias use it and I'm seeing how close I can get to replicating their pizza in my kitchen. Again, no claim of what's best or recommendation to anyone. Just a puzzle for me to work on as a hobby. For some reason this seems to bother you.

Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: quietdesperation on December 14, 2018, 12:38:17 PM
What you call bland, I call balance.

IMO, this comment gets to the heart of the matter. I think Joe's is the canonical NY slice. I like it, but it's just not that interesting. A wine analogy might go like this:

I can drink a very good, correctly made ca cabernet every night, maybe something along the lines of Beringer knight's valley, but eventually, I'm going to get bored and look for something different in a cab. I may occasionally come back to the knight's valley, appreciate it for what it is, but  I'd almost always prefer to try something more interesting.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: CIZ28 on January 17, 2019, 02:18:34 AM
Thereís NY Elite which is ďrealĒ NY Style pizza and thereís NY corner slice. The corner slice is usually the easier/cheaper made junk and outweighs the good places. The original coal oven style pizza usually with sauce on top is the actual NY Style pizza. Thatís the one people recommend, the one you pay more for, and the one with the longest lines 8 out of 10 times.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on January 17, 2019, 07:41:59 AM
Thereís NY Elite which is ďrealĒ NY Style pizza and thereís NY corner slice. The corner slice is usually the easier/cheaper made junk and outweighs the good places. The original coal oven style pizza usually with sauce on top is the actual NY Style pizza. Thatís the one people recommend, the one you pay more for, and the one with the longest lines 8 out of 10 times.

I'll be honest, I get zero value from this post. The discussion on this thread is about the corner slice. I never claimed it was more real or better than anything else (see my quote below). Your post is no different than if someone had said Neo is the true pizza, or Chicago thin perfected the pizza. Its personal opinion that leads to endless debate with no outcome. My intent with this thread was simply to share observations with a hope to learn more about techniques used at slice shops.

...As I said on another thread, I believe there are many different sub-styles within NY-style, and that no one style is better, best, or the 'true' style...

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Josh123 on January 17, 2019, 12:35:10 PM
Thereís NY Elite which is ďrealĒ NY Style pizza and thereís NY corner slice. The corner slice is usually the easier/cheaper made junk and outweighs the good places. The original coal oven style pizza usually with sauce on top is the actual NY Style pizza. Thatís the one people recommend, the one you pay more for, and the one with the longest lines 8 out of 10 times.

When the rest of the country, the world, hell, even MOST NEW YORKERS think New York pizza, they think the street slice.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: CIZ28 on January 19, 2019, 08:55:09 PM
When the rest of the country, the world, hell, even MOST NEW YORKERS think New York pizza, they think the street slice.

I know, itís unfortunate.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: CIZ28 on January 19, 2019, 09:02:27 PM
I'll be honest, I get zero value from this post. The discussion on this thread is about the corner slice. I never claimed it was more real or better than anything else (see my quote below). Your post is no different than if someone had said Neo is the true pizza, or Chicago thin perfected the pizza. Its personal opinion that leads to endless debate with no outcome. My intent with this thread was simply to share observations with a hope to learn more about techniques used at slice shops.

Itís about being true to the craft, that was the truth lol. Neapolitan technically IS the true pizza. Coal oven tomatoes on top is the true NY Style pizza. These things are not opinion. Corner slice cheese blanket is the watered down version of pizza MOST of the time. There are some good corner slice places but they are few and far inbetween IMO. Iím probably more judgmental because itís my field. Itís also the most simple to make and duplicate though. People just think too much it seems. Typical slice joints and what many people consider pizza in this country is what brought pizza down until this whole awakening thatís happened to pizza in which people are looking for things closer to the roots and artisan methods. Iím definitely happy for that.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: CIZ28 on January 19, 2019, 09:22:43 PM
IMO, this comment gets to the heart of the matter. I think Joe's is the canonical NY slice. I like it, but it's just not that interesting.

That is typical corner slice pizza. Boring, plain, nothing to write home about. Joeís is the lead example of it. But it seems that they probably use high quality stuff and get the balance and ratios right versus most of the industry where itís about saving money and undersaucing and overcheesing (or vice versa) somewhat thick pizza.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Josh123 on January 20, 2019, 10:32:00 PM
That is typical corner slice pizza. Boring, plain, nothing to write home about. Joeís is the lead example of it. But it seems that they probably use high quality stuff and get the balance and ratios right versus most of the industry where itís about saving money and undersaucing and overcheesing (or vice versa) somewhat thick pizza.

Youre not trying the right slices, dude
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: CIZ28 on January 20, 2019, 11:45:11 PM
Youre not trying the right slices, dude

Iíve tried just about everything lol. And worked many places. Regular corner slice fare is not my style really. Though too thin, Patsyís Harlem was the best plain slice that was not a sauce on top that pie Iíve ever had. Crazy to think that old coal place sorta qualifies as a slice joint, but it does. Best overall pie Iíve ever had out was Johnnyís in Mount Vernon probably, but not a slice shop. Also, this one tomato pie slice place in NJ was right up there. But these are not your average places.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Josh123 on January 21, 2019, 12:39:38 PM
Iíve tried just about everything lol. And worked many places. Regular corner slice fare is not my style really. Though too thin, Patsyís Harlem was the best plain slice that was not a sauce on top that pie Iíve ever had. Crazy to think that old coal place sorta qualifies as a slice joint, but it does. Best overall pie Iíve ever had out was Johnnyís in Mount Vernon probably, but not a slice shop. Also, this one tomato pie slice place in NJ was right up there. But these are not your average places.

Then youre just a coal oven guy then, and thats fine. But there are plenty of world class corner slice shops that use great cheese, great tomato with good seasonings, and nice flavored crispy crust. If that's not your style, its not. But to me the umami bomb you get from biting into the first cheese/sauce blob from a hot slice of top tier NY street slice is unmatched by anything pizza. You crave it in a way that no other pizza can do.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: CIZ28 on January 22, 2019, 08:21:31 PM
Then youre just a coal oven guy then, and thats fine. But there are plenty of world class corner slice shops that use great cheese, great tomato with good seasonings, and nice flavored crispy crust. If that's not your style, its not. But to me the umami bomb you get from biting into the first cheese/sauce blob from a hot slice of top tier NY street slice is unmatched by anything pizza. You crave it in a way that no other pizza can do.

I like the coal oven or ďtomato pieĒ method of building a pizza the most but prefer gas for the crust it produces more than coal you could say. That or Margherita style. The mass produced cheese blanket isnít for me no matter the quality of ingredients lol.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Josh123 on January 26, 2019, 11:49:31 AM
I like the coal oven or ďtomato pieĒ method of building a pizza the most but prefer gas for the crust it produces more than coal you could say. That or Margherita style. The mass produced cheese blanket isnít for me no matter the quality of ingredients lol.

The good places get their cheese and sauce to melt into each other as a cohesive flavor
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Fiorot on January 26, 2019, 01:04:09 PM
Iíve tried just about everything lol. And worked many places. Regular corner slice fare is not my style really. Though too thin, Patsyís Harlem was the best plain slice that was not a sauce on top that pie Iíve ever had. Crazy to think that old coal place sorta qualifies as a slice joint, but it does. Best overall pie Iíve ever had out was Johnnyís in Mount Vernon probably, but not a slice shop. Also, this one tomato pie slice place in NJ was right up there. But these are not your average places.
I don't get it? Johnny's is thin!!!
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: CIZ28 on January 27, 2019, 10:47:20 AM
The good places get their cheese and sauce to melt into each other as a cohesive flavor

If you like that style, I categorically do not. Most of the top places donít do it either. Patsyís Harlem, DiFara, and Joeís are the exception. Theyíre mostly either sauce on top or sell Margherita style pizza.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: CIZ28 on January 27, 2019, 10:48:06 AM
I don't get it? Johnny's is thin!!!

Johnnyís is thin, Patsyís is paper.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 22, 2019, 08:06:52 PM
Lucia, Flushing Queens. The review, pics, and video will be across the next few posts.

Wow! Loved these slices! This really could be my ideal pizza.

I had high hopes for Lucia, one of the pics I found on Yelp previously, I said was exactly the slice look Iím going for. I was pumped when I walked in and saw everyoneís slices looking exactly like the one I had been hoping for.

Of the 3 mesh-screen shops we talk about (Lucia, Amore, Margherita), for me personally, Iíd put this ahead of Amore, and either tied with Margherita, or on its own at #1. It definitely gets a notch above for location, being easily accessible by either 7-train or LIRR, while Margherita is in the center of Jamaica. (Lucia being in the middle of Chinatown is fun too, so save room for some other treats.)

The words to describe the flavor that hit me at the time were: tomato, grease, hard cheese. It was seemingly simple, yet so good (and Iím sure not as simple as it appears).

I tried to get as many questions in to one of the counter guys as I ate. (When I arrived at around 3pm on a Saturday, it was very busy, and this place is tiny. I found a spot to stand at the counter, ordered, paid, and ate without moving from that counter spot. Later it thinned out, and I took my second slice to the other counter that had bar stools. Also note that the takeout window to the sidewalk was busy as well.)

I asked if the cheese was Grande, and he said yes. I never trust that pattern, however, and it wouldíve been better if he said the brand rather than me. I asked if it was whole milk or part skim or a mix, and he said it was a mix of whole milk and part-skim. This was more believable based on how the conversation was going.

I asked if they were using romano or parm (as I could clearly taste something). He gave me a bit of a funny look and said, no, nothing. But, when I later asked to buy a doughball and some sauce, he said they donít sell the sauce, dough no problem. Not selling the sauce is an indication. While the overall flavor seemed simple, they wouldnít be hiding their sauce if it was just tomato and salt. My second slice had one large piece of fresh basil. Other than that, absolutely nothing was visible.

He said they finish the pies directly on the deck for about a minute. No re-heats as they are always busy. But, 2 things I noticed. First, they did store baked pies under the counter (like Margherita). And the pies they were directly serving sat on some sort of (stone?) cutting board that was under heat lamps. The lamps were hidden, but there were clearly a bunch of bulbs directly over that spot with lighting that stood out.

I could clearly see the Bakerís Pride ovenís temperature needle at 500 degrees on both decks.

I recorded a video of the pizza-maker opening and topping a pie, and there is a very clear closeup of the topped pie. I also captured them moving a pie from the screen to the deck.

My first slice was well done with a lot of crisp. I asked if it was a reheat, as it was very crispy, and cracked. He said it wasnít a reheat. While Iím generally not a big fan of crisp, this slice was really awesome. It didnít taste overcooked, or have any char flavor. (Amore was crisp and charred.) Thin sauce, greasy cheese, hard to describe the flavor, but just awesome.

My second slice came off a pie directly out of the oven. (When I was taking the video, I saw the pie come out and asked for a slice right after he cut it.) This one was much less done on the bottom. Pale and blond toward the rim. Certainly no chance for it to crack. Part of it got very soft. But, if you know the kind of pies I like, this one was even better!

When I got home a few hours later I weighed and opened the doughball. It weighed 727 grams. Lots of small bubbles on the underside. It opened beautifully. It required me to stretch it, rather than opening on its own, but wasnít hard to stretch. It very quickly was stretched to over 18Ē.

Iím not sure what else to say. Anyone in the area, go check this place out, thereís no excuses!

Pics below of the shop and the entire interior that is open to the public. More in the following posts.

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 22, 2019, 08:07:10 PM
Ok, here are my 2 slices. First slice was crispy. Then a shot of the pie straight out of the oven that led to my second slice (not crispy). Both were amazing.


Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 22, 2019, 08:07:22 PM
In this video you can see the dough being stretched, topped, closeup of the topped pie, a pizza being transferred from the screen to deck.

https://youtu.be/UTXX9q8bQ94
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 22, 2019, 08:07:35 PM
Here's the doughball I brought home (after a couple hours).

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: quietdesperation on June 22, 2019, 08:24:06 PM
Matt, great review! Did you bake up the dough ball?
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 22, 2019, 08:26:02 PM
Matt, great review! Did you bake up the dough ball?

Thanks! No, I tossed it. And thanks for the recommendations for the Chinese food!

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on June 23, 2019, 12:46:57 AM
I'm looking forward to it 7/3. I'd love to hit some Chinese food, but my son will be itching to get to Citi Field.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: norma427 on June 23, 2019, 07:37:53 AM
Matt,

Very interesting video!  In the video at Reply 58 https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=55305.msg583212#msg583212  do they open the dough ball with oil?  Didn't see any flour on the opening surface, but also didn't see any kind of vessel with oil to open the dough balls.  The top of the skin on the screen looks more shiny than usual, at least to my eyes.  The man opening that dough ball and dressing it does it like Sal does his dough balls.  Looks so easy.

Norma
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 23, 2019, 08:45:25 AM
I'm looking forward to it 7/3. I'd love to hit some Chinese food, but my son will be itching to get to Citi Field.

I'm looking forward to hearing what you think, I hope you like it.

There are Chinese places with counters all over the place. The only trick would be to find one that will be quick. Maybe someone can recommend something that is pre-made, maybe soup? I'd play it by ear depending on what time you arrive and how adventurous your son is at the time.

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 23, 2019, 09:27:13 AM
Matt,

Very interesting video!  In the video at Reply 58 https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=55305.msg583212#msg583212  do they open the dough ball with oil?  Didn't see any flour on the opening surface, but also didn't see any kind of vessel with oil to open the dough balls.  The top of the skin on the screen looks more shiny than usual, at least to my eyes.  The man opening that dough ball and dressing it does it like Sal does his dough balls.  Looks so easy.

Norma

Hi Norma, thanks a lot for asking this. I've been thinking about dough opening with oil vs flour on and off for the last couple months, and your question led me to think a step deeper. And I'll likely experiment a bit with my pizza as a result.

My first thought when I saw the skin from a distance was "wow, that's shiny and oily". I didn't see an oil container either, though it's hard to say if it was hidden amongst the other items on the counter. The dough ball I purchased had a good amount of oil on it. I'm reminded of the conversation I had with my local pizzeria, that also uses the mesh screen, where he said (and showed me) that the dough ball proofs in the metal container in a pool of oil, or what he called an "oil bath". It's possible that the oil bath is enough where they don't have to add more oil on the counter.

But, at around the 6 second mark you'll see that he adds flour and rubs it in and all over one side of the skin. That side goes over his knuckles, then becomes the bottom of the pizza. My local pizzeria told me they also add a bit of flour when opening too. This is interesting because I've clearly demonstrated that with these screens, oil is sufficient to release the pizza, and flour is not necessary.

What I'm thinking is that they like to add a bit of flour as it soaks up the oil. The result will be an undercrust that isn't oily/fried, but also doesn't have raw flour. Basically the oil and flour offset one-another. I want to try this.

The other interesting thing in watching him open the skin, is at the very end just before he puts it onto the screen, he gives it a stretch right in the center. Usually we think of that as a no-no, but that's because our skins open themselves and would be overstretched. This one gave him full control over the stretch, and the center stretch helped even it out.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: invertedisdead on June 23, 2019, 09:39:30 AM
The takeaway for me is that unique undercrust texture you see in the photos, it just looks different than most other slices. The lack of bubbles underneath makes me think it's probably a same day dough to achieve that look?
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 23, 2019, 09:53:19 AM
The takeaway for me is that unique undercrust texture you see in the photos, it just looks different than most other slices. The lack of bubbles underneath makes me think it's probably a same day dough to achieve that look?

I think the undercrust texture is from the screen (though I may not know exactly what you're referring too). The underside of the dough I bought had lots of real small bubbles...but small and somewhat subtle. I have no idea whether it was same day or not...but yeah, I'm very focused on trying to understand the linkage between final bake/skin opening quality and underside bubbles. I'm not sure if that's too simplistic, but I'm trying.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 23, 2019, 09:55:40 AM
Another takeway for me from the video was the sauce thinness. Wasn't quite Pizza Town, but it was very thin. It was noticeably thin when eating the pizza, and I think that adds a lot (for my tastes). So I'm not a big believer in the idea that a deck over thickens out the thin sauces. The end result was still very thin (and amazing).

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: PizzaJerk on June 23, 2019, 10:44:07 AM
The shine on the dough ball is oil. They use the dough tins to store the dough before use. They probably use a fair amount to coat the tins so the dough doesn't find a spot to stick as it proofs.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 23, 2019, 11:26:33 AM
Would dried herbs and fresh basil disintegrate from a stick blender so they are no longer visible in the sauce?

I cant get this pizza out of my head...I want to go back already.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: quietdesperation on June 23, 2019, 11:57:21 AM
matt, when my wife and I were looking for a pied in nyc I suggested flushing. It's a good thing she said no cause I'd be dead by now from eating all that great food:  regional indian,  korean, japanese, thai, pizza and of course chinese.

 I grew up on long island and don't find queens pizza all that different from the pizza of my yut  :D It seems like amore and lucia are bringing something to the table that your local LI places are not?

best,
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 23, 2019, 12:19:51 PM
... I grew up on long island and don't find queens pizza all that different from the pizza of my yut  :D It seems like amore and lucia are bringing something to the table that your local LI places are not?

best,

I dont think I knew you were from LI. There are good pizzerias here, but I havent been blown away. One of the big differences is the juiciness of those Queens slices. I feel like it's hard to find pizzerias that put a good amount of sauce (and cheese for that matter). So many slices seem like lightly topped bread.

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: invertedisdead on June 23, 2019, 12:25:06 PM
Would dried herbs and fresh basil disintegrate from a stick blender so they are no longer visible in the sauce?

I cant get this pizza out of my head...I want to go back already.


Maybe an infused oil?

I'm reminded of this recipe.

https://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/10/making-scarpetta-tomato-basil-spaghetti-scott-conant-scarpetta-meatpacking-district-nyce.html
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: PizzaJerk on June 23, 2019, 12:50:26 PM
One thing you may want to try is to take a leaf or two of fresh basil and dry it in your oven by the heat of the pilot light. When it's dry you'll be able to rub it between your fingers and turn it into powder.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: PizzaJerk on June 23, 2019, 12:55:10 PM
You'll also be able to remove the stemy pieces if you desire and be left with just the delicate leafy part.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: wb54885 on June 23, 2019, 01:52:08 PM
I cant get this pizza out of my head...I want to go back already.


I know how you feel! Iíve changed all my internet passwords and my catís name to Lucia.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: foreplease on June 23, 2019, 07:48:54 PM
I know how you feel! Iíve changed all my internet passwords and my catís name to Lucia.
I changed all mine some time ago to ďincorrect.Ē Now when I canít remember or mistype one I get a pop up reminderĒ Your password is incorrect.Ē  ;D
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on June 23, 2019, 08:58:14 PM
I changed all mine some time ago to ďincorrect.Ē Now when I canít remember or mistype one I get a pop up reminderĒ Your password is incorrect.Ē  ;D

I just logged into your pizzamaking account and it worked!  I'm gonna f..k with you bigtime!
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: norma427 on June 24, 2019, 08:35:57 AM
Hi Norma, thanks a lot for asking this. I've been thinking about dough opening with oil vs flour on and off for the last couple months, and your question led me to think a step deeper. And I'll likely experiment a bit with my pizza as a result.

My first thought when I saw the skin from a distance was "wow, that's shiny and oily". I didn't see an oil container either, though it's hard to say if it was hidden amongst the other items on the counter. The dough ball I purchased had a good amount of oil on it. I'm reminded of the conversation I had with my local pizzeria, that also uses the mesh screen, where he said (and showed me) that the dough ball proofs in the metal container in a pool of oil, or what he called an "oil bath". It's possible that the oil bath is enough where they don't have to add more oil on the counter.

But, at around the 6 second mark you'll see that he adds flour and rubs it in and all over one side of the skin. That side goes over his knuckles, then becomes the bottom of the pizza. My local pizzeria told me they also add a bit of flour when opening too. This is interesting because I've clearly demonstrated that with these screens, oil is sufficient to release the pizza, and flour is not necessary.

What I'm thinking is that they like to add a bit of flour as it soaks up the oil. The result will be an undercrust that isn't oily/fried, but also doesn't have raw flour. Basically the oil and flour offset one-another. I want to try this.

The other interesting thing in watching him open the skin, is at the very end just before he puts it onto the screen, he gives it a stretch right in the center. Usually we think of that as a no-no, but that's because our skins open themselves and would be overstretched. This one gave him full control over the stretch, and the center stretch helped even it out.

Matt,

Thanks for your detailed reply!  ;D

I haven't had much of any time to play around with my screens like yours.  I think only one bake and the screens still aren't seasoned enough.  Just too busy to have time to experiment with those screens. 

Matt,

It sounds if you are right if Lucia put their dough balls in oil, that probably that is why the dough was shiny.  I remember different times when Frank Giaquinto opened dough balls that were sitting in oil.  Frank did add a little oil to the bench though, like in this video.  Frank also added flour to the bottom of the dough skin.  Can't recall where there was a video of a dough that Frank brought a dough ball that was sitting in a lot of oil, but that pizza crust was the most different than I ever tasted.  I had asked Tom Lehmann why that was, but don't know if he missed that post, or if he didn't know why that happened.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J5Pvz4XkYk&t=22s

Norma
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Carmine Abramo on June 25, 2019, 08:43:43 PM
Would dried herbs and fresh basil disintegrate from a stick blender so they are no longer visible in the sauce?

I cant get this pizza out of my head...I want to go back already.

Perhaps they use a bouquet garni or similar while they pre cook their sauce.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Carmine Abramo on June 25, 2019, 08:45:07 PM


It sounds if you are right if Lucia put their dough balls in oil, that probably that is why the dough was shiny.  I remember different times when Frank Giaquinto opened dough balls that were sitting in oil.  Frank did add a little oil to the bench though, like in this video.  Frank also added flour to the bottom of the dough skin.  Can't recall where there was a video of a dough that Frank brought a dough ball that was sitting in a lot of oil, but that pizza crust was the most different than I ever tasted.  I had asked Tom Lehmann why that was, but don't know if he missed that post, or if he didn't know why that happened.

Norma

Interesting that Frank Giaquinto is versed in this type of NY pizza preparation with the oil opening and mesh and being that he has made over a million NY pies it says alot about these "Queens" pizzas.  They seem to be a bridge to the past.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Carmine Abramo on June 25, 2019, 08:47:43 PM
Thereís NY Elite which is ďrealĒ NY Style pizza and thereís NY corner slice. The corner slice is usually the easier/cheaper made junk and outweighs the good places. The original coal oven style pizza usually with sauce on top is the actual NY Style pizza. Thatís the one people recommend, the one you pay more for, and the one with the longest lines 8 out of 10 times.

Most New Yorkers never ate a coal oven pizza.  Coal oven era was pre-war when Italian immigrants lived in enclaves and making these things on the side alongside their main bakery business and this is before pizza became universally popular.  All you need to do is watch this video to know what NY pizza is.  Those sure look alot like the Lucia photos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRHY27aFpLA
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Carmine Abramo on June 25, 2019, 08:55:34 PM
How does it not make sense?

Hate to break it to you, but there's a reason Joe's is consistently named by numerous NY publications as the prototypical NY slice. NY Times, Eater, Grubstreet, Food and Wine, Timeout, Scott's Pizza Tours, and everyone who owns or runs a pizza shop here (Mark Iacono, Frank Pinello, Paulie, Adam Kuban the list goes on.) Anyone who is actually here will tell you Joe's is the template for a NY slice, and other slices tend to follow that. Luigi's in South Brooklyn, countless other slice shops. It's dough, milled tomato with little to no seasoning, and aged mozzarella in the proper proportions baked on a stone.

I'm not saying you have to like it, but don't go changing what has historically been NY pizza for decades. You can have your personal preferences but this is what NY pizza has been. And by the way, there's a reason Amore or Lucia don't make those "best of lists." Again, you don't have to agree but you guys are in the minority compared to the people that actually live here or come from the area.

Joe's pizza is currently the tourist slice of Manhattan, what Pizzeria Uno is to Chicago pizza.  Recognizable name and pretty standard and representative.  All you need to know is who lives in what neighborhoods these days.  Bleecker and Carmine are mostly out of state college grads.  Joe's also opened very late relative to the NY pizza timeline, sometime in the 1970's.  They were famed for having an even thinner crust than most NY pizzerias and less cheese and sauce and became a popular place for late night drinkers who wanted to satiate their hunger without over bloating themselves.  There was once a club in the 1990's called Bank right outside the Bleecker Joe's, this is really the main reason it became famous, nothing more really.  Location, location, location...

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 25, 2019, 10:36:38 PM
Perhaps they use a bouquet garni or similar while they pre cook their sauce.

That's what I've been thinking, based on comments from the previous forum member that effectively brought Queens pizza to the forum. Could be they pre-cook at least a portion of the sauce. The fresh basil piece I got seemed like it accidentally made it past whatever their process is.

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Carmine Abramo on June 25, 2019, 11:15:49 PM
That's what I've been thinking, based on comments from the previous forum member that effectively brought Queens pizza to the forum. Could be they pre-cook at least a portion of the sauce. The fresh basil piece I got seemed like it accidentally made it past whatever their process is.

Never had Lucia but sounds like it's not just tomato and salt.  Sauce is the main flavor in a pizza and that they didn't sell you the sauce says alot. 
Besides a bouquet garni they may just remove large pieces though a sieve with large leaves for instance.  What does the pizza taste like?  Does it have an aged hard cheese flavor?
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Carmine Abramo on June 25, 2019, 11:23:45 PM
Tell that to all of the NYers here that consider Joe's the best. Maybe in Pittsburgh or the rust belt they prefer those heavy flavors (herbed sauce, lots of cheese, etc) but that's just not a NY thing and it never has been. My entire family was off the boat, settled in NY, and was eating pizza there before Joe's was even around.

They must be from Naples  :-D New York slice was always about decadence.  I recall extra cheese being the most popular topping besides sausage and anchovies for a very long time.
Title: Re: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Carmine Abramo on June 25, 2019, 11:25:09 PM

Hate to break it to you, but there's a reason Joe's is consistently named by numerous NY publications as the prototypical NY slice. NY Times, Eater, Grubstreet, Food and Wine, Timeout, Scott's Pizza Tours, and everyone who owns or runs a pizza shop here (Mark Iacono, Frank Pinello, Paulie, Adam Kuban the list goes on.)

Most long time New Yorkers never heard of these people or the "Carbone brothers".  This narrative is recent.  Most New Yorkers don't even know who Dom Demarco is.  New York is territorial to neighborhood unless a foodie.
 
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 25, 2019, 11:26:47 PM
Never had Lucia but sounds like it's not just tomato and salt.  Sauce is the main flavor in a pizza and that they didn't sell you the sauce says alot. 
Besides a bouquet garni they may just remove large pieces though a sieve with large leaves for instance.  What does the pizza taste like?  Does it have an aged hard cheese flavor?

The (not so helpful) words that came to my mind when eating it was: tomato, grease, hard cheese. The counter guy claimed they didn't use hard cheese, but I'm almost certain of it. The sauce is really good,  but I have a very hard time describing it as there weren't any obvious dominant flavors. Possibly garlic, though I may be swayed by a video review where someone mentioned garlic. I didn't notice pepper the way I have at other shops. Nor oregano.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Carmine Abramo on June 25, 2019, 11:29:27 PM
The (not so helpful) words that came to my mind when eating it was: tomato, grease, hard cheese. The counter guy claimed they didn't use hard cheese, but I'm almost certain of it. The sauce is really good,  but I have a very hard time describing it as there weren't any obvious dominant flavors. Possibly garlic, though I may be swayed by a video review where someone mentioned garlic. I didn't notice pepper the way I have at other shops. Nor oregano.

Yes I would suspect any restaurant won't divulge their "secret sauce".  I also konw a deck oven cooks that sauce differently.  If you make friends with a local pizza place, you might want to ask if you can try making a pizza with your sauce and put it in a deck you will be surprised.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: norma427 on June 26, 2019, 06:35:48 AM
The (not so helpful) words that came to my mind when eating it was: tomato, grease, hard cheese. The counter guy claimed they didn't use hard cheese, but I'm almost certain of it. The sauce is really good,  but I have a very hard time describing it as there weren't any obvious dominant flavors. Possibly garlic, though I may be swayed by a video review where someone mentioned garlic. I didn't notice pepper the way I have at other shops. Nor oregano.

Matt,

Was this the video you saw that mentioned the garlic?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNCoGtY1f8I&t=323s

Norma
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 26, 2019, 06:53:08 AM
Matt,

Was this the video you saw that mentioned the garlic?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNCoGtY1f8I&t=323s

Norma

Yes Norma, that's the video, nicely done!
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on June 26, 2019, 06:27:30 PM
One Bite Lucia


https://youtu.be/MTe6WSdtCwA
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 26, 2019, 07:11:18 PM
One Bite Lucia


https://youtu.be/MTe6WSdtCwA

Never clicked on a link so fast...wonder if he's going to Amore too. Would likely post it tomorrow

I'm not surprised they didn't have his full pie order ready based on the reviews, and even my experience there. It's a bit chaotic.

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: quietdesperation on June 27, 2019, 03:29:15 PM
he's a stranger in a strange land; calls a Jamaican beef patty a beef jerky enchilada  :o  A friend was at amore 10 minutes after he was there, said they received an 8.1
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Fiorot on June 27, 2019, 05:14:10 PM
I think the Pizza he was eating was undercooked.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Pazzo on June 27, 2019, 05:46:07 PM
he's a stranger in a strange land; calls a Jamaican beef patty a beef jerky enchilada  :o  A friend was at amore 10 minutes after he was there, said they received an 8.1

He's definitely not a very cultured dude. That's probably a large part of what makes him so entertaining and fun to watch. Watching reviews from people that really know their stuff can get old.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 27, 2019, 07:12:47 PM
I think the Pizza he was eating was undercooked.

Under crust looked light...though the slice did hold up. The second slice I had at my recent visit was definitely undercooked. While my first was very crunchy (too much so for me). Certainly seems like their finished crusts are generally inconsistent. But the sauce and cheese was so good that I don't care. The pizza was awesome.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 27, 2019, 07:18:29 PM
For reference because its it's on another thread, here's a link to my review of Amore...there's a video of them topping a pie, and pics of sauce that I bought.

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=51924.msg549536#msg549536

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: PizzaJerk on June 29, 2019, 04:25:18 PM
What interests me about the Barstool review is he mentions nothing of the oil or grease on the slice, which he personally views as a bad thing for some reason. The Amore slice certainly has some oil to it. He's an inconsistent reviewer yet I love to watch it because of all of the pizza exposure.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on June 29, 2019, 07:22:22 PM
What interests me about the Barstool review is he mentions nothing of the oil or grease on the slice, which he personally views as a bad thing for some reason. The Amore slice certainly has some oil to it. He's an inconsistent reviewer yet I love to watch it because of all of the pizza exposure.


Objectivity is not in his lexicon.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Fiorot on June 29, 2019, 10:37:09 PM
He's definitely not a very cultured dude. That's probably a large part of what makes him so entertaining and fun to watch. Watching reviews from people that really know their stuff can get old.
Quite the contrary.  He is as cultured as you can get.   He is entertaining because he is real.  So those people who know their stuff are the very cultured boring human beings you can find.  I agree.   But if you are a Yankee Fan,Mets Fan, or a Boston Fan you understand the culture. I get the feeling you don't.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: quietdesperation on June 30, 2019, 11:59:30 AM
He's definitely not a very cultured dude. That's probably a large part of what makes him so entertaining and fun to watch. Watching reviews from people that really know their stuff can get old.

I agree, he seems authentic (although he's not from ny, doesn't know how to pronounce Houston street and doesn't know what a Jamaican meat patty is). By comparison, the videos scott w and mike i recorded seem stiff and rehearsed.

still, not my cup of tea.

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Pazzo on June 30, 2019, 12:54:02 PM
Quite the contrary.  He is as cultured as you can get.   He is entertaining because he is real.  So those people who know their stuff are the very cultured boring human beings you can find.  I agree.   But if you are a Yankee Fan,Mets Fan, or a Boston Fan you understand the culture. I get the feeling you don't.

When I say cultured, I mean that he has experienced and accepted life and differences outside his normal comfort zone. His misinformation and mispronouncing of words and lack of knowledge of things other then what he is used to shows this. I am not saying that is bad. We are not all fortunate enough to travel and even those that do don't always accept the differences with an open enough mind to learn and soak in other cultures. I agree, he is a very real person and knows what he likes. He doesn't have to conform to others ideas of authenticity or what's right which makes him very fun to watch even if you don't agree with his opinion or even find it laughable.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 30, 2019, 01:04:10 PM
...His misinformation and mispronouncing of words and lack of knowledge of things other then what he is used to...

Some of this is part of his routine and is an attempt at humor.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Pazzo on June 30, 2019, 01:21:40 PM
Some of this is part of his routine and is an attempt at humor.

Definitely. And he does it well, I love it! I used to cringe when I first started watching him and anything about Italy was brought up. Now I get it and find him hilarious. He is, to me, the epitome of an acquired taste. 
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Pazzo on June 30, 2019, 01:27:48 PM
By comparison, the videos scott w and mike i recorded seem stiff and rehearsed.

Agreed, and I think they're starting to grow together and "get it" a little bit more and more with each season. I think these two can make some pretty entertaining and informative material when they figure a few more things out. I can watch Mark Iocono and Frank Pinello all day however.

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Pazzo on June 30, 2019, 01:33:59 PM
Matt, have you been to Brother's before? I have a friend that told me he just went there and it was pretty good.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on June 30, 2019, 02:34:28 PM
Some of this is part of his routine and is an attempt at humor.



For sure, he's got a schtick and caters to his barstool audience.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 30, 2019, 04:21:27 PM
Matt, have you been to Brother's before? I have a friend that told me he just went there and it was pretty good.

No, not yet. Fairly easy to get to though. Fresh pie from Yelp below (and their classic signage).


Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 30, 2019, 08:45:17 PM
...the videos scott w and mike i recorded seem stiff and rehearsed.


Despite all the YouTube videos on pizza I watch, I had never even heard of that series. Just took a look, and based on the episode titles,  it seems horribly uninteresting. Then I watched about 30 seconds of one...its not watchable. Definitely scripted, but it seems like it was written by people that have little experience with pizza. I can't imagine that if these 2 guys got together to discuss pizza that this is what it would be. For example,  why on earth would they want to discuss ramen on pizza?

Agree with Pazzo that watching Iocono and Pinello together is very entertaining. (Dont get the pizza grease on your white shoes!) And I like Scott too (enough that I watched his full documentary).

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on July 01, 2019, 11:30:32 PM
It's goofy, but it's supposed to be.  I like Mark.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on July 03, 2019, 08:33:02 PM
Lunch today at Scarr's Pizza.

My approach to eating/dissecting the pizza was a little bit different than some of my other pizzeria visits, as my focus wasn't solely on the pizza. Instead, I was engaged in lively conversation with Quiet Desperation  :)  It was great to finally meet a forum member in real life!

Also, when we were leaving the pizzeria, Scarr was hanging out on the sidewalk with a couple friends. The 3 of us chatted for several minutes. We didn't get too specific into ingredients or the pizza itself. He talked a lot about how NY slice pizza has changed (degraded) over the years. That pizzerias use bad ingredients, but that the tourists don't know any better because it's still better than anything they can get where they came from.

Scarr said his pizza was different. He uses the best ingredients, and its organic. The result is that you don't feel sick after it, he said. Personally, I still think some of this is marketing. I do think he uses good ingredients and cares a lot about his pizza. But while we do buy some organic products at my house, I still don't think it makes a real difference. He did say something to the effect of milling his own flour isn't marketing, it really makes a difference.

We also chatted about different pizzerias, and some other pizza-men he knows, primarily Paulie.

*****
Ok, on to the pizza. QD and I each had a slice, and we split a Sicilian. They were re-heats.

Overall, I liked this pizza. I was especially pleased that it was seasoned and had a good amount of flavor. After the first bite I said I was reminded of the Sicilian Oregano I use. I'm not sure that was it, but I was clearly hit directly with oregano. There was basil in it too. And atleast one hard cheese. You can see in one of the photos where the mozz didn't quite get to the rim, that there was a lot of hard cheese.

The tomato itself wasn't super present. I think the reason, is that there just wasn't that much sauce on the pie. QD said he prefers more sauce, and I do as well. I wouldn't say it was significantly undersauced compared to an average slice, but it was nothing like the sauce-heavy pies in Queens.

The sauce is also fairly thick. This, and the fairly modest amount, meant that the slice didn't really have any juice. No real grease. Nothing dripped. I don't know if the re-heat impacted this, but I don't think it would've made much of a difference based on how the pie was topped.

The mozz cheese was fine, nothing really to say. Again, the flavor was driven by the herbs and hard cheese.

The crust had a nice structure. No flop when holding the slice, but very bendy and no chance it would crack. QD commented that it got tough as it sat, and I agree. It also just seemed to add to the overall dryness of the pie. But hey, I prefer a high-oil dough. The undercrust coloration was interesting, you'll see the contrast of black areas. I went basically right up to the oven (this place is tiny), but I couldn't read the temperature gauge. It was as if it was fogged over. But I took a picture where we can see the needle at least. QD asked the temp, and guy said "uh...600 to 700". I thought, "ok, usual BS answer". But given the undercrust, who knows, I guess he could be baking hot.

The Sicilian was ok. Very crispy. I agree with QD's assessment that it was like a focaccia and that it was baked with a good amount of oil in the pan. Given the sauce was on top, I would've expected it to be very saucy, but it wasn't. (The upside down Sicilian at Suprema was loaded with sauce, actually too much for me). Not much more I can say on this one.

As I said, overall, I liked the pizza, and I was happy to see someone using herbs and hard cheese. But not a slice that hit my tastes. A very good experience though. And Scarr seemed like genuine guy.

Oh and bonus points for leaving a small pitcher of water out with cups for customers to help themselves. I've never seen that before.



Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on July 03, 2019, 08:58:09 PM
Here's a good (and quick) video of Scarr. While the stated topic of the video is the Sicilian, he talks about ingredients, fermentation, the food industry, slice shops etc. Reminds me of the conversation we had. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMIwlj7bzXA
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on July 04, 2019, 09:18:50 AM
The schedule for the the trip to Citi Field got compressed and we didn't have time to go Lucia.  >:( :(
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on July 04, 2019, 09:52:43 AM
The schedule for the the trip to Citi Field got compressed and we didn't have time to go Lucia.  >:( :(

Ah bummer...I was waiting to hear. Hopefully you make it back down here again soon.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on July 04, 2019, 11:48:20 AM
Ah bummer...I was waiting to hear. Hopefully you make it back down here again soon.


Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on July 19, 2019, 09:08:23 PM
Once again, Lucia Pizza, Flushing Queens

I had the opportunity to go again, less than a month after my first visit. Confirmed, this is my favorite NY pizzeria. (Though admittedly, I haven't tried that many of them.)

It seems so simple, no over-the-top flavors, but its so good. I had 2 slices, different pies. Both were what I was hoping for, with medium doneness. The crust had crisp, but was still light. Sauce just as good (and perplexing) as before.

I asked 2 different guys (first a young guy, then the old guy) if I could buy dough/sauce/cheese. They both said dough only. I'm a bit confused as there was a review on google from a week before my first visit saying that you can buy dough/sauce/cheese there. But, no luck.

The first flavor that came to mind early on was salt. Then sweetness. I'm reminded of my comments about Margherita, the sweetness doesn't taste like sugar. Could just be the tomato, but I don't know. Then at the tail end I tasted a nice milkyness.

A few pics, and I took 2 very short videos of my 2 slices. I thought a video may capture them better than pics alone.

I wish I could say more about these slices, but I have a very hard time describing them.

https://youtu.be/kdDANC2mRr4

https://youtu.be/BzLML-HbGwY


 

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: foreplease on July 19, 2019, 10:15:53 PM
Iím glad you posted the videos, Matt. The top side of those slices really popped in a way that was not as apparent in the photos. Nice that you had an opportunity to revisit Lucia and good of you to post it here.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: invertedisdead on July 20, 2019, 01:39:56 AM
Once again, Lucia Pizza, Flushing Queens

I had the opportunity to go again, less than a month after my first visit. Confirmed, this is my favorite NY pizzeria. (Though admittedly, I haven't tried that many of them.)

It seems so simple, no over-the-top flavors, but its so good. I had 2 slices, different pies. Both were what I was hoping for, with medium doneness. The crust had crisp, but was still light. Sauce just as good (and perplexing) as before.

I asked 2 different guys (first a young guy, then the old guy) if I could buy dough/sauce/cheese. They both said dough only. I'm a bit confused as there was a review on google from a week before my first visit saying that you can buy dough/sauce/cheese there. But, no luck.

The first flavor that came to mind early on was salt. Then sweetness. I'm reminded of my comments about Margherita, the sweetness doesn't taste like sugar. Could just be the tomato, but I don't know. Then at the tail end I tasted a nice milkyness.

A few pics, and I took 2 very short videos of my 2 slices. I thought a video may capture them better than pics alone.

I wish I could say more about these slices, but I have a very hard time describing them.

https://youtu.be/kdDANC2mRr4

https://youtu.be/BzLML-HbGwY

Epic! So cool you were able to get back there in such a timely fashion.

I need two of those big slices right now  :drool:

Would you guess that the salt hit was coming from the dough, the sauce, the cheese, or the whole enchilada in all it's glory?  ;D

The sauce IS boss, a GREAT sauce, unique and unforgettable, now that's a challenge!
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on July 20, 2019, 03:38:56 PM
Ryan, regarding the salt, first a couple caveats. 1) while I noticed the salt early in the first slice, it faded fast. It wasn't like I thought the slices tasted salty and 2) I eat very little sodium (when it's not pizza night) and therefore am more sensitive to it.

I didn't notice any salt flavor when eating the rim crust, so I'd say the salt was primarily coming from the sauce and cheese.

A couple more observations now that I've slept on it:

While at my first visit I was convinced there was hard cheese in the pie, I was less convinced this time. I certainly didn't notice the unmistakable flavor of a sharp Romano. But there still could've been a different Romano or parm.

Second, I noticed that behind the oven they have a staircase leading to the basement. I actually noticed it when someone came up with metal containers that he then put into a fridge. I had been wondering where they did the prep work as the main level is so small.

Lastly, you can see in the pictures that I was eating in front of a mirror. I actually really liked this. As I was taking each bite, I could get a nice view of the top of the slice in the mirror,  and it added to the experience.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on July 20, 2019, 03:42:14 PM
Iím glad you posted the videos, Matt. The top side of those slices really popped in a way that was not as apparent in the photos. Nice that you had an opportunity to revisit Lucia and good of you to post it here.

You know I'm more than happy to  :)

The videos did work well and I've rewatched them a bunch. You definitely get a much better feel for the juiciness.

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: invertedisdead on July 21, 2019, 12:58:38 PM
Ryan, regarding the salt, first a couple caveats. 1) while I noticed the salt early in the first slice, it faded fast. It wasn't like I thought the slices tasted salty and 2) I eat very little sodium (when it's not pizza night) and therefore am more sensitive to it.

I didn't notice any salt flavor when eating the rim crust, so I'd say the salt was primarily coming from the sauce and cheese.

A couple more observations now that I've slept on it:

While at my first visit I was convinced there was hard cheese in the pie, I was less convinced this time. I certainly didn't notice the unmistakable flavor of a sharp Romano. But there still could've been a different Romano or parm.

Second, I noticed that behind the oven they have a staircase leading to the basement. I actually noticed it when someone came up with metal containers that he then put into a fridge. I had been wondering where they did the prep work as the main level is so small.

Lastly, you can see in the pictures that I was eating in front of a mirror. I actually really liked this. As I was taking each bite, I could get a nice view of the top of the slice in the mirror,  and it added to the experience.

Interesting stuff Matt -
I'm pretty sure my favorite local joint doesn't use any hard cheese. At least I don't taste nor see any, but they use a fairly heavy amount of mozzarella, and I feel like you can really taste the mozz on their pizzas, unlike most. That pizza really allures me, the sauce tastes complex but when I peel back the cheese I swear it just looks like tomato and oregano, MAYBE some black pepper specks but it could just be tiny flecks of oregano.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on July 21, 2019, 02:10:00 PM
Interesting stuff Matt -
I'm pretty sure my favorite local joint doesn't use any hard cheese. At least I don't taste nor see any, but they use a fairly heavy amount of mozzarella, and I feel like you can really taste the mozz on their pizzas, unlike most. That pizza really allures me, the sauce tastes complex but when I peel back the cheese I swear it just looks like tomato and oregano, MAYBE some black pepper specks but it could just be tiny flecks of oregano.

Will they sell you the sauce? Worth tasting it raw if you can.

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on July 27, 2019, 08:38:58 PM
Pizza Town USA, Elmwood Park NJ

This was a nice pie. Calzone was pretty good, but not necessary. Zeppole was awesome.

I didn't quite have an optimal experience as we had a ridiculous amount of traffic and it took an hour longer to get there than anticipated. So the first slice was kind of inhaled, but then I settled into the groove.

This pizza was thin and crisp, both more than I anticipated. It had a good amount of sauce, and not a whole lot of cheese, making it a pretty saucy pie. A real generous amount of dried herbs, which was a nice surprise. Some romano (I think it was romano), but it was mild and in the background. Just re-watched one of the videos on YouTube where Bruce describes it as a "Brooklyn" pie, what used to be called a "Tomato Pie", a lot of sauce, dark crust, not a lot of cheese. Of course he described it well.

When I got to the counter I ordered the large pie, small calzone and 6 zeppole. Bruce (I was hoping for his sister given the legendary "stretch" video, but she wasn't there) yelled over the pie maker, 1 large pie. Very soon after he put a pie in the oven. I started a stopwatch, but...given the long car ride, we needed to make a family trip to the rest room. When I got back, the stopwatch was at 6:15, but my pie was already sitting out. The deck was sitting open with a pie in it, which I'm fairly certain was in the location of the one I saw launched. So my assumption is that my pie was already in the oven when I ordered it, so I cant say anything for certain about the time of the bake.

Bruce seemed like a good guy, commenting on my Giants gear (I was headed to training camp), but he is really all business. After that first comment everything else was pure NY (NJ) service, with him barking orders at all of us. But the efficiency was really good. My wife was very appreciative of the speed of service (given the kids were hungry) and I was too (as we could get over the Giants camp on time).

The fried calzone (small) was ok. It has ham, but very little, which is fine. The ricotta was liquified, which was interesting, it was totally smooth.

The side of sauce with the calzone was amazing. I watched Bruce ladle it out already hot. I sipped it from the cup. Definitely chunks, which seemed like chunks of a whole peeled, and lots of seasoning.

The zeppole was really good. Like a fresh fried donut with powdered sugar.

Good pie, I'm glad I finally made it here. Pics to follow. (Note, 2 of the slices were cut in half for the kids.)

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on July 27, 2019, 08:39:20 PM
More pics
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: invertedisdead on July 28, 2019, 08:33:25 AM
Great report Matt, really felt like I was having a slice at your table with that review! Digging those photos too, they definitely add to the conversation in a major way! :)

So the pizza sauce and calzone sauce were definitely different then, yeah?

I know you tend to like a cheesier pie - just curious if you thought the sauce flavor came through well with less cheese on the pizza? Sometimes I feel that way, but haven't concluded anything.

Will they sell you the sauce? Worth tasting it raw if you can.



I'll give it a shot next time I pick one up!
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on July 28, 2019, 10:26:08 AM
Great report Matt, really felt like I was having a slice at your table with that review! Digging those photos too, they definitely add to the conversation in a major way! :)

So the pizza sauce and calzone sauce were definitely different then, yeah?

I know you tend to like a cheesier pie - just curious if you thought the sauce flavor came through well with less cheese on the pizza? Sometimes I feel that way, but haven't concluded anything.


Cheers Ryan. The natural light helps give the pictures a real feel. This place is basically an outdoor take out window with where they added a few picnic tables and screened the whole thing in.

With less cheese, the sauce is more pronounced,  with certain bites having no cheese at all. I find sauce on top more pronounced too. But I still prefer sauce under, and a good amount of cheese, which means I need a good amount of well-seasoned sauce to get the flavor I want. That's the best of both worlds IMO.

The calzone sauce was certainly in a separate container from the pizza sauce, being on the opposite side of the shop and heated. I'd say it's very likely a different sauce altogether based primarily on 1) the thinness of the sauce in the "stretch" video and 2) I didn't notice a heavy garlic flavor on the pizza. (The calzone sauce definitely had a wetness, and likely oil, but the chunks didn't look to be in the stretch video.)

I took the sauce home, accidentally leaving it in the car overnight. But I looked at it this morning. Loads of chunks of fresh garlic and alot of herbs. It smelled really good, like tomato and garlic. The herb looked leafy,  so I suspect fresh basil rather than dried oregano, but maybe both. Pic below.


Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: foreplease on July 28, 2019, 11:44:13 AM
Are those tomato seeds in your sauce picture above Matt?
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on July 28, 2019, 12:11:09 PM
Are those tomato seeds in your sauce picture above Matt?

No, that's all fresh garlic!

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: foreplease on July 28, 2019, 02:06:43 PM
No, that's all fresh garlic!
Ah! Ok, Thank you.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hotsawce on July 29, 2019, 11:54:06 AM
Just an FYI - the calzone sauce is not the pizza sauce. Itís whatever they serve the meatballs in (imagine my delight when getting a nice chunk of meatball with my calzone  :angel: :drool:)
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on July 29, 2019, 08:49:55 PM
Just an FYI - the calzone sauce is not the pizza sauce. Itís whatever they serve the meatballs in (imagine my delight when getting a nice chunk of meatball with my calzone  :angel: :drool:)

Do you mean that the meatballs simmer in the sauce all day and they just spoon some sauce out for the sides? That'd be a flavor enhancer I wouldn't have guessed!

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Fiorot on July 30, 2019, 11:07:25 AM
Do you mean that the meatballs simmer in the sauce all day and they just spoon some sauce out for the sides? That'd be a flavor enhancer I wouldn't have guessed!
Honestly I hope not.  Meat Sauce not good for me on a cheese calzone.  Besides your picture show a pretty bright color.  Not what I would expect with sauce simmering for hours with meat.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on July 30, 2019, 11:52:53 AM
Honestly I hope not.  Meat Sauce not good for me on a cheese calzone....

You and I are on opposite sides of this one. There was a time when I'd regularly order a calzone with cheese and spinach, along with a side of meatballs which I'd spoon onto the calzone.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: foreplease on July 30, 2019, 05:33:14 PM
You and I are on opposite sides of this one. There was a time when I'd regularly order a calzone with cheese and spinach, along with a side of meatballs which I'd spoon onto the calzone.
Whenever my lunch spot hires a new girl I always ask for the veggie burger with bacon. They usually do not finish writing it before they get it. :) Sometimes in week 2 Iíll ask for something hoping she will ask what Iíd like that served with, to which I reply ďundisguised contempt, just like last week.Ē From then on we are buds.  ;D
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Fiorot on July 30, 2019, 05:44:12 PM
I once went to a high end watering hole in Naples Florida.  We ordered a Pizza.  They used meat sauce on a cheese pie.   I will never forget how disgusting it was.  LOL!!!
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on July 30, 2019, 06:50:22 PM
Whenever my lunch spot hires a new girl I always ask for the veggie burger with bacon. They usually do not finish writing it before they get it. :) Sometimes in week 2 Iíll ask for something hoping she will ask what Iíd like that served with, to which I reply ďundisguised contempt, just like last week.Ē From then on we are buds.  ;D

I prefer portabello burgers with bacon.  I mostly prefer beef burgers without bacon.


Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hotsawce on July 31, 2019, 09:57:10 AM
Yes, at least thatís what I gathered. I saw them spook sauce from that area and I ended up with a chunk of meatball so Iím guessing thatís what they use for the side sauce.

Do you mean that the meatballs simmer in the sauce all day and they just spoon some sauce out for the sides? That'd be a flavor enhancer I wouldn't have guessed!
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: quietdesperation on July 31, 2019, 11:18:41 AM
thanks for the wonderful review matt, if you haven't done so, you might want to compare notes from chau's tour. My calzone was pretty meh too, I think the better reviews come from people that receive one freshly fried.

When we are at scarr's, I think I mentioned how silly I felt, we had so many fin svcs clients off of the garden state, it would have been so easy to have stopped there 20-30  times. Now, it's a long haul from home and I have no reason to be in that part of the state. sigh.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on September 12, 2019, 07:38:32 PM
Despite all my experiments, bakes and posts, some times when I buy a good slice, I suspect I know nothing...and need to start over.

Been to Rose's in Penn Station a bunch of times. Last time I was a little let down, but it was really on tonight.

It's right in my preference wheel house. The crust was thin. It was soft and chewy. Cooked enough,  but just barely. Right where I'd want it. Every time I try their slice I wonder about the difference that bromate makes. I dont want to get sucked into using it, but I may need to try it to find out.

Sauce was abundant. Sweet and flavorful.  I have no clue what they're doing.

Cheese tasted creamy.

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: invertedisdead on September 13, 2019, 05:51:09 PM
Despite all my experiments, bakes and posts, some times when I buy a good slice, I suspect I know nothing...and need to start over.

Oh man, I can relate to this so much Matt, I've been thinking the exact same thing.



 


Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on September 13, 2019, 06:00:08 PM
Thinking about it this morning, I want to try more sugar in the dough. Will go from 1% up to 3% to see what happens.

But I'm also wondering if I should lower my stone temp based on the color of the undercrust.

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Fiorot on September 13, 2019, 06:31:09 PM
Thinking about it this morning, I want to try more sugar in the dough. Will go from 1% up to 3% to see what happens.

But I'm also wondering if I should lower my stone temp based on the color of the undercrust.
You may have something there.  Leopard Spots and not really going to that brown look indicates to me a lower temperature .   
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: quietdesperation on September 16, 2019, 12:12:18 PM
Ive been to rosas a bunch of times, I wonder if they cater to the Long Island commuter which I think of as Queens with heavier cheese. I donít think too many places use 3 per cent sugar. Iíve tried 475f and found it chewy...almost too chewy but we like crispy.

I have a hard time going to Rosas with Suprema so close out of the 8th ave exit of penn but if I had a train to make, rosas would be my choice in penn.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: foreplease on September 16, 2019, 02:19:48 PM
Thinking about it this morning, I want to try more sugar in the dough. Will go from 1% up to 3% to see what happens.

But I'm also wondering if I should lower my stone temp based on the color of the undercrust.
Remember you will likely get much more browning with 3% sugar than 1% so you may want to try the lower temp/longer bake first or independent of the sugar change. As Iím sure you know and normally practice: when change(s) you make to formula or process change results, you want to be able to identify which change caused what result.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: scott r on September 16, 2019, 02:35:12 PM
Remember you will likely get much more browning with 3% sugar than 1% so you may want to try the lower temp/longer bake first or independent of the sugar change. As Iím sure you know and normally practice: when change(s) you make to formula or process change results, you want to be able to identify which change caused what result.

great advice!
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on November 26, 2019, 07:58:51 PM
Like last year, I was able to dedicate part of a day off around Thanksgiving to explore pizzerias. This time I focused on Queens.

My trip was focused on New Park as I've heard a lot about it (and many good things from people I tend to agree with). But I ended up going to 3 places.

"To each his own" comes to mind. I'm very surprised with my reaction to New Park.

*****
New Park Pizza, Howard Beach Queens

As stated above, I've seen many good reviews of this place. I did read that you want slices "well done" and have seen some pictures of slices ranging from pale to charred. I got lucky (at least I thought I did) - a somewhat well done pie had just come out of the oven when I arrived.

For my tastes, however, I saw almost nothing positive about this slice, and I'd almost go so far as to say I disliked it. The crust was pretty good, it was thin and soft and had some char flavor. But aside from the char flavor, the only thing I tasted from the pizza was salt. I'll caution that I don't generally each a lot of salt...but, I had read a lot about the cheese being different here, and I didn't taste the cheese. I also heard there was a sweet sauce, but I didn't taste the sauce. It was basically a bland and salted slice on a pretty good crust. I imagine it's kind of like dumping salt onto a slice from Joe's. You'll see from the pictures, it looked really good...but it was a huge disappointment. Halfway through the slice I had my phone out planning out my next stop.

*****

Lillian Pizzeria, Forest Hills Queens

I actually lived right by this place 15 years ago. I wasn't quite a pizza fanatic at the time, I would get slices every now and then, but also remember getting chicken rolls quite frequently.

This slice was very good. I tasted hard cheese, tomato, some herbs, and creamy mozz. A proper NY slice in my opinion. My slice was re-heated for about 20 seconds, though it seemed the slice had been sitting for a bit. Had this been a fresh slice it would've been even better.

I really liked this slice. Literally a corner slice shop, and doing what they're suppose to be doing. Nothing fancy, just solid flavors. I don't know that I'd suggest this as a destination slice or not, but again, a solid slice.

********

Gaby's Pizzeria, Hollis Queens

Last stop was Gaby's. I don't know too much about this place, but I had previously linked a video of them opening a doughball (using a lot of muscle) and using a mesh screen. I was interested in getting to try another mesh screen shop out, especially as this was in Queens rather than Long Island.

I was expecting a heavily topped slice, and I certainly received that. Though I was thinking that it may be a fine line between a delicious and juicy heavy-topped slice and a school cafeteria slice. This slice was highly questionable. It tasted a little better than it looks in the pictures, but not by much.

*******

All that said, when did I get so picky and critical? Or maybe I just hit a couple places that were way off from my expectations. I'm glad I went to Lillian though as it was one bright spot.

*New Park pics
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on November 26, 2019, 07:59:07 PM
Lillian Pizzeria, Forest Hills Queens - Very good slice
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on November 26, 2019, 07:59:20 PM
Gaby's, Hollis Queens - yikes
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: PizzaJerk on November 26, 2019, 10:48:18 PM
I think a DiGiorno would have been better than that Gabby's slice.

I always enjoy reading your reviews by the way. In depth but straight to the point and always a good read.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on August 07, 2020, 03:36:06 PM
Lucia Pizza - 3rd visit (1 year after my first 2 visits)

I called in a "large" pizza (18") when 15 minutes away by car. With my wife driving, I navigated the pie in the front seat, cutting slices in half and passing them to my kids. I don't think I've ever heard them this quiet while eating. Not a sound until "more pizza".

I still love this pie. The first thing I noticed (I think) was a bit of garlic. But perhaps I was looking for it.

But the real thing that stood out was creaminess. On top of whatever is in that sauce, and the tomato flavor, I kept tasting cream. Certainly driven by the mozz, which was melted but not pulverized. But I couldn't figure out if there was a hard cheese too. Either way, for my own pies I'm going to 1) experiment with different bakes to see what happens if I melt less, 2) see if I can find another mozz to try, 3) cheat and try adding a touch of cream to my sauce. I love what cream adds to pasta sauce, and while eating I was reminded of my wife's favorite (and now my daughter's favorite) pasta sauce which is a blend of 75% vodka sauce and 25% meat sauce.

The tomato has an underlying sweetness.

Could there be a bit of onion? Some fresh basil that soaks in the sauce then is removed?

When I tasted the sauce on its own, I did taste a tiny bit of pepper. I like the direction I'm going with cayenne.

My wife tasted it when it was significantly cooled. And this pie is better warm. Her comments were that this pizza is different. The cheese is different. It's not super sweet. It's not super salty....I said she's right, it's not super anything, except for a super blend of things in perfect harmony.


Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: wb54885 on May 25, 2021, 05:32:39 PM
Matt, I made it back to Lucia this afternoon. There was a pallet delivery on the sidewalk as I came up from the subway. I ran across traffic and started taking pictures, hoping for a case of tomatoes, but all I saw was cheese and flour.

Iím so stumped by this slice. I would never put that much cheese on a pie, and when making my own I tend to lean toward salty and savory flavorsóbut this is extra cheesy, juicy, and mysteriously sweet. It was a knockout. The sweetness made me think of apple cider vinegar, cherry Coke, and orange juice. I have no idea.

I went back in and told the oldest guy there I needed to ask him a question. I said ďIíve been talking to somebody about this pizza for two years and we canít figure out what makes it so good. I know youíre not going to tell me any secrets, but... Itís something about the sauce, right?Ē

He stared at me for a few seconds, straight in the eye. ďWhat is your question?Ē he asked.

ďWhat makes this pizza so special, itís in the sauce right?Ē

He said ďI donít know,Ē something-something, ďmy boss...Ē something-something.

I wouldnít tell me anything, either.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: erickso1 on May 26, 2021, 10:01:28 AM
I guarantee you I'm way off base, and I've never had it, but when you described the flavor, and showed the pic, the first thing that came to my mind was the spaghetti-o sauce. 
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Fiorot on May 26, 2021, 03:36:41 PM
What is all the fuss about this Place?  It looks under cooked, the bottom is nothing special, and loads of cheese and runny sauce.  To me it looks like a typical slice joint slice.  And if you use Alti Cucina it is sweet if you don't add salt.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: wb54885 on May 26, 2021, 03:53:03 PM
To me it looks like a typical slice joint slice.

And yet...
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on May 26, 2021, 05:05:24 PM
Awesome WB, glad it was still a knockout!

Incredible timing to see the delivery. What do you think, whole milk for the pizza and the part skim for something else? Could be a blend, but the ratio would be so dominant whole milk then why bother?

Thanks for trying on the sauce. We seem to be gravitating towards the sweetness being the biggest mystery.

I guarantee you I'm way off base, and I've never had it, but when you described the flavor, and showed the pic, the first thing that came to my mind was the spaghetti-o sauce. 

Funny enough, I'm trying to remember which pizzeria it was, but I remember once being hit with the familiar flavor of what I remember spaghetti-os tasting like. Seems rediculous, and not a complement, but I've gone as far as trying fruit punch mix in my sauce, so I'm down for anything. Spaghettios has high fructose corn syrup and cheddar cheese in it currently.

Anyone know what high fructose corn syrup tastes like?

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on May 27, 2021, 03:06:59 PM
Not sure what this tasted like, but it wasn't good!

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on May 27, 2021, 06:45:05 PM
What is all the fuss about this Place?  It looks under cooked, the bottom is nothing special, and loads of cheese and runny sauce.  To me it looks like a typical slice joint slice.  And if you use Alti Cucina it is sweet if you don't add salt.


I must be looking at the wrong pictures.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on May 27, 2021, 09:44:54 PM
So...

...
But the real thing that stood out was creaminess. On top of whatever is in that sauce, and the tomato flavor, I kept tasting cream. Certainly driven by the mozz, which was melted but not pulverized. But I couldn't figure out if there was a hard cheese too. Either way, for my own pies I'm going to 1) experiment with different bakes to see what happens if I melt less, 2) see if I can find another mozz to try, 3) cheat and try adding a touch of cream to my sauce....

My wife tasted it when it was significantly cooled. And this pie is better warm. Her comments were that this pizza is different. The cheese is different. It's not super sweet. It's not super salty....I said she's right, it's not super anything, except for a super blend of things in perfect harmony.

...turns out it was good old grande! I think using alot of cheese and melting it less and gently enables the mozz flavor to come through. But I'm still drawn to cheese oiling into the orange grease. I dont think I can achieve both. That's where my heavy cream hack came from. I'm planning to mess with some hard cheese too.

Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: wb54885 on June 03, 2021, 11:15:40 AM
I keep thinking and thinking about this slice. Iíve been rereading everything Harry wrote about the steady 500F bake and heavy cheese and the orange oil, and I think itís 90% that and 10% whatever unique sweetener theyíre using (the orange oil was very present this day!). I see nothing but a smooth orange/red color in the sauce, no flecks of spice or anything. I had some carrot juice the other day and thought ďmaybe...oh thatís ridiculous!Ē Who knows!!?

After this latest NY trip I finally accepted that I need my sauce to be sweeter. My favorite plain slices are less salty and more sweet than I think they are when Iím tinkering at home. Onward and upward, as they say  :)
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 03, 2021, 12:27:26 PM
I keep thinking and thinking about this slice. Iíve been rereading everything Harry wrote about the steady 500F bake and heavy cheese and the orange oil, and I think itís 90% that and 10% whatever unique sweetener theyíre using (the orange oil was very present this day!). I see nothing but a smooth orange/red color in the sauce, no flecks of spice or anything. I had some carrot juice the other day and thought ďmaybe...oh thatís ridiculous!Ē Who knows!!?

After this latest NY trip I finally accepted that I need my sauce to be sweeter. My favorite plain slices are less salty and more sweet than I think they are when Iím tinkering at home. Onward and upward, as they say  :)

I dunno...I've spent a ton of time working on my melt, and while it delivers a ton of a flavor that I crave, I have to really cook the cheese and I lose the creaminess. Maybe they use so much cheese that it enables both a grease layer and a white cheese layer? I remember my photos from Margherita Pizza in Jamaica where the cheese was more than 2 times as thick as the crust! (I also remember the classic video where the guy says that the grease should get on your hand, and "down your arm on a really good day".)

But I think whatever they are including as sweetener and maybe hidden herbs is more than 10% of it. There are many pizzerias around me that use the same screens, good ovens and Stanislaus/Grande, but they don't come close to the same flavor.


Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: Pete-zza on June 03, 2021, 12:49:01 PM
I keep thinking and thinking about this slice. Iíve been rereading everything Harry wrote about the steady 500F bake and heavy cheese and the orange oil, and I think itís 90% that and 10% whatever unique sweetener theyíre using (the orange oil was very present this day!). I see nothing but a smooth orange/red color in the sauce, no flecks of spice or anything. I had some carrot juice the other day and thought ďmaybe...oh thatís ridiculous!Ē Who knows!!?
wb54885,

Yup, who knows? ;D

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=645.msg5861#msg5861

Peter
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 03, 2021, 01:46:34 PM
Mama's Too evidently uses carrots in their vodka sauce. He said he doesn't put sugar into anything they make. It's at 12:37 in the video linked below.

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=51896.msg653718#msg653718
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: foreplease on June 03, 2021, 02:19:51 PM
wb54885,

Yup, who knows? ;D

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=645.msg5861#msg5861 (https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=645.msg5861#msg5861)

Peter
Peter,


Grated carrots in pasta and meatball sauces is something I have been using for 20-25 years. I was nowhere to be found on this forum in 2004 though! In the last few years I hVe suggested it here a couple times to people who were trying to change their sauce.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: wb54885 on June 04, 2021, 09:53:58 AM
Should have searched before I spoke  :-D

Tony, absolutely! We used to do a mirepoix for the meatball sauce in a restaurant that had the best meatballs Iíve ever eaten. Fully cooked in the sauce. Equal parts ground beef, pork, and turkey. Microplaned garlic. The sauce was sweet and spicy and we treated it like a hoard of dragon gold, and when it ran out for the night everybody got a little sad.

Anywho, Iím curious enough to try a carrot juice sweetener for sure. But the mere idea also goes to show just how many ways there are to make a plain cheese pizza...

Somebodyís just going to have to get a job there. Iíll wash dishes at Lucia if it comes to that. Dishwashers see everything.
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: foreplease on June 04, 2021, 10:23:06 AM
Should have searched before I spoke  :-D

Tony, absolutely! We used to do a mirepoix for the meatball sauce in a restaurant that had the best meatballs Iíve ever eaten. Fully cooked in the sauce. Equal parts ground beef, pork, and turkey. Microplaned garlic. The sauce was sweet and spicy and we treated it like a hoard of dragon gold, and when it ran out for the night everybody got a little sad.

Anywho, Iím curious enough to try a carrot juice sweetener for sure. But the mere idea also goes to show just how many ways there are to make a plain cheese pizza...

Somebodyís just going to have to get a job there. Iíll wash dishes at Lucia if it comes to that. Dishwashers see everything.
Hereís mine. Sauce and meatball recipes are posts 29 and 33, but itís more of a story than a recipe.
https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=45810.0 (https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=45810.0)
Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 05, 2021, 09:49:33 PM
My wife uses a mirepoix in a tomato sauce too. I'm wondering what celery does to a sauce. I was just looking at the ingredients of Campbell's tomato soup (kindof along the lines of the spaghetti-os) and it has celery extract. Just a thought.


Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 09, 2021, 04:00:55 PM
Ok all, I visited Lucia again and think I'm getting there. This post will outline my thoughts on flavor. I hope to do another post in the future with some more background and details of my visit.

I'm very confident that a (and likely 'the') dominant flavor of this pie is hard cheese. From my very first bite I was thinking hard cheese. I believe that this explains the "creaminess" that I've written about previously. I also think it contributes to the "sweetness". While I obviously dont know what hard cheese they are using, or even if it was parm or romano, it made me think of a parm-reg that I used to get from a pizzeria distributor...it also made me think of Boar's Head Romano because it demonstrates that romano can exist without a strong romano-kick. This pie did not have that usual romano flavor.

The key was WB's discovery above, that they had cases of Grande delivered. I was previously off track searching for some kind of mozz that doesn't exist. I've eaten enough grande to say that this flavor wasn't from the grande.

A separate thought I had towards the very end of my dinner was butter. Butter is both creamy and sweet, and (IMO) seems to make everything better. I'd think it's more likely that they use butter if the sauce is (at least partially) cooked. The flavor of the sauce doesn't scream raw tomato. Moreover while I cant see seasoning in it, I think it is seasoned. So cooked is certainly possible.

Edit: also, they don't sprinkle any hard cheese when dressing the pie. It could be that hard cheese is cooked into the sauce.

The last thought I had was that fresh basil may contribute to the sweetness. But it would be very faint and not visible. This prompted me to ask on the sauce board whether flavor could be extracted from a basil leaf without cooking it in the tomato (as I'd like to still with my uncooked sauce for my next round of experiments).

I baked up a pie where my 1.25 cups of tomato had added 2 teaspoons of butter and 3/4 teaspoon of Boars Head Romano. My other seasonings (oregano, garlic, pepper) were there, but light. The pie was really good, and I think on the right track. I'd like to try a little less butter and the parm I mentioned above, but not sure when I'll get to the store. Will post about my bakes in my main thread as I proceed.



Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: hammettjr on June 10, 2021, 02:11:34 PM
Some of my comments below from my first visit 2 years ago. I seem to be coming back to that first impression. Looks like he was telling the truth regarding Grande. And perhaps the look he gave me when I asked about romano/parm was more than just a 'stop bugging me' look.



The words to describe the flavor that hit me at the time were: tomato, grease, hard cheese. It was seemingly simple, yet so good (and Iím sure not as simple as it appears).

I tried to get as many questions in to one of the counter guys as I ate.

I asked if the cheese was Grande, and he said yes. I never trust that pattern, however, and it wouldíve been better if he said the brand rather than me. I asked if it was whole milk or part skim or a mix, and he said it was a mix of whole milk and part-skim. This was more believable based on how the conversation was going.

I asked if they were using romano or parm (as I could clearly taste something). He gave me a bit of a funny look and said, no, nothing. But, when I later asked to buy a doughball and some sauce, he said they donít sell the sauce, dough no problem. Not selling the sauce is an indication. While the overall flavor seemed simple, they wouldnít be hiding their sauce if it was just tomato and salt. My second slice had one large piece of fresh basil. Other than that, absolutely nothing was visible.


Title: Re: Matt's NY Pizzeria Visits
Post by: jkb on June 11, 2021, 02:56:07 PM
You are a NY master.